For the uninitiated, chai tea is an aromatic, soothing, sweet beverage originating from India. While there are numerous variations on chai tea, chai typically consists of black tea—such as Assam or Darjeeling—milk, sweetener (such as sugar or honey) and spices. Traditional chai tea spices are Chinese star anise, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, fennel and ginger.
Today, chai tea is consumed worldwide primarily for the taste. But the spices used in chai tea, as well as the brewed tea itself, have long been used in Eastern
medicine. Because of this, chai tea is believed to be a powerful natural anti-oxidant, stress reliever, mood elevator, immune and circulatory system stimulant and breath freshener. As such,
regular chai tea drinkers are often said to be healthier and happier overall.
Chai tea truly is a beverage that sells itself—and as with all things that are naturally good (and not to mention tasty), numerous industries have begun pursuing ways to profit from the chai tea craze. Chai tea can now be found in instant powdered forms, tea bags, pre-packaged spice blends and other derivative forms. In spite of all the convenient inventions designed for chai enthusiasts, the best way to enjoy chai is by brewing an authentic cup of masala chai from scratch. Authentic masala chai has a richer flavor, a fuller aroma and more pronounced health benefits than any instant chai tea mix or powder.
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